Thanks for having me as your guest again, Liza! Today I’m back to show off my book trailer for ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, my latest best selling science fiction romance, and to talk a bit about how this mini movie got made.
I'm always thrilled to have a new book trailer to debut and it's such fun to work with the awesomely talented (and patient) Theresa McClinton of Making It Reel. There’s an ongoing debate among authors whether book trailers really are good promo, whether Readers are influenced by them…and I’d love feedback in the comments, if anyone would like to offer an opinion. Personally, I enjoy having a trailer since it may be the closest I ever get to having a “movie” made from my book! I treat myself to a trailer, you might say…and of course, it could always be the one that goes viral. You never know LOL!
First I give Theresa the book cover art, the blurb and any really quotable reviews there might be. Then we start by selecting the music - she sends me a set of suggestions, which I dutifully listen to and make notes about. Last time I got brave and went questing on the soundtrack site for a few more choices (fast tempo, drums - that's me LOL). Ultimately we went with her top choice but bookmarked my favorite for possible use on our next SFR trailer. It just wasn't quite the right "feel" for ESCAPE.
Then it's on to the images and video clips. She and I go back and forth on the stock photos as she has excellent instincts for what might work but ultimately it's my book and my characters and we authors are funny about the little worlds we create. (Which Theresa totally gets as she is an author herself
For ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, the requirements included the far future, an alien planet and some alien sentients. Without a Star Trek or Star Wars-sized budget, I think Theresa was quite artistic in choosing the photos that made the final shoot. There is a whitewater rafting incident in the novel and my characters do visit a monastery high in the mountains seeking help along the way, so we could use some Earthly photos to suggest the feel of those episodes on Zulaire. After all, Zulaire has to be quite Earthlike for my characters to survive without life support or spacesuits.
Luckily for us, the female cover model had other poses available we could use in the video but the hero, much as we both liked him, as far as we can tell, took all of nine photos in one session, once, and that was it. So we had something of a challenge in assembling a video that told the story effectively in about two minutes, using stock photos of the original book cover art models.
Once Theresa has assembled a rough cut of the video she sends it to me to review. First I'll watch the trailer two or three times without analyzing or commenting, just to get an overall sense for the feel of it, does it convey the feel of the book to me, are any elements standing out - good or bad - on repeated viewings? I make detailed notes for her, with the exact spot in the video that is affected, down to the second. Some elements are only a few seconds long but they all add up to the final product. Sometimes I want the wording changed a bit and sometimes I'm not resonating with a particular photo or video clip.
I hope you'll enjoy our mini movie (and the book of course, which so far has spent nearly two months on the Amazon Science Fiction Romance Best Seller lists...)